Owning a Piece of the Minors

By Jerry Klinkowitz | Go to book overview

I Would Have Saved Them If I Could:

The Milwaukee Braves, the Waterloo Diamonds, and Everyone Else's Home Team

The day before I left Rome I saw three robbers guillotined. The ceremony--includ
ing the masqued priests; the half-naked executioners, the bandaged criminals; the
black Christ and his banner; the scaffold; the soldiery; the slow procession, and the
quick rattle and fall of the axe; the splash of the blood, and the ghastliness of the
exposed heads--is altogether more impressive than the vulgar and ungentlemanly
dirty "new drop" and dog-like agony of infliction upon the sufferers of the English
sentence. Two of these men behaved calmly enough, but the first of the three died
with great terror and reluctance. What was very horrible, he would not lie down;
then his neck was too large for the aperture, and the priest was obliged to drown
his exclamations by still louder exhortations. The head was off before the eye could
trace the blow; but from an attempt to draw back the head, notwithstanding it was
held forward by the hair, the first head was cut off close to the ears; the other two
were taken off more cleanly. It is better than the oriental way, and (I should think)
than the axe of our ancestors. The pain seems little, and yet the effect to the
spectator, and the preparation to the criminal, is very striking and chilling. The
first turned me quite hot and thirsty, and made me shake so that I could hardly
hold the opera-glass (I was close, but was determined to see everything, with at
tention); the second and third (which shows how dreadfully soon things grow in
different), I am ashamed to say, had no effect on me as a horror, though I would
have saved them if I could.

-- LEONARD MICHAELS, "Lord Byron's Letter," I Would Have Saved Then If I Could

FIRST, some key dates. The Milwaukee Braves were born on March 18, 1953, and died on September 22, 1965, their last home game after a hideous year of court-ordered life support meant to keep major league baseball in Wisconsin. As for minor league baseball in Waterloo, Iowa, it began in 1904 and had its death knell rung on March 12, 1994, when the club's owners opted to sell and let the team be moved out of town. I

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Owning a Piece of the Minors
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword Mike Veeck ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • I Would Have Saved Them If I Could: - The Milwaukee Braves, the Waterloo Diamonds, and Everyone Else's Home Team 1
  • Structuring Short Season 18
  • Inside the World Series: An Outsider's Notes 37
  • On the Grass 50
  • Diamonds in the Rough: Three Tales of a Ball Club's Death 77
  • Box 28 99
  • Mildred 129
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